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December 2, 2015. Here’s a little yarn about a real breakthrough in … yarn. I know, it seems unlikely that yarn is something ripe for innovation here in the 21st century, but TREW’s “NuYarn” Merino wool garments are just Better than the stuff I’ve always been happy to wear in cold weather. Cheaper, too.

Their web site will tell you how and why their straight merino wool fibers wrapped around a fine nylon core translate to yarn and fabric that’s loftier, stretchier, stronger and warmer than everything that’s come before. I’ll tell you – based on a couple of weeks of wearing a few of their things – that this stuff really is warmer, cozier, lighter – and feels nicer to the touch. All around better than my beloved Patagonia and Icebreaker winter wear. This is what you want for the season’s outdoor activities, no matter where they fall on the strenuous-to-lazy spectrum.

The “base” layer
First sub-freezing morning in Central Park. I slipped into TREW’s lightweight NuYarn Merino top and bottom. They’re thin, fine, stretchy and light. They’re unusually smooth and supple. Really comfy. Clingy in a good, cozy Way.

I put a lightweight hiking pant over the bottoms. Zip a light down jacket-sweater over the top. I’m thinking I may be a little under-dressed. Wrong. I’m totally comfortable. And I’m barely moving – at the glacial pace of my always-slow-in-the-morning Welsh Corgi with 5″-short legs. He doesn’t care about the weather. He’s got a great fur coat. And I don’t care, either. I have transcendent long undies. I know they’re gonna be great for skiing and snowshoeing. They passed the dog walk test.

In Between or Outer
Wind kicks up the next day, chill goes down to around 20. In this weather I’d probably wear my heavy, 2-layer ski jacket for the slow-poke dog walk. But I pulled TREW’s Midweight NuYarn Merino Chill Top over the lightweight top, then zipped the light down sweater over that. I gotta tell ya: completely comfortable despite the relatively light weight of all the layers. Pulled up the Midweight’s hood when the wind gusted. It felt really, really nice. I may not take this thing off until Spring.

Now, the BCS Gift Guide is always about Better and Cheaper Eating and Exercise. So why am I telling you about … clothes?

Full Disclosure
I met a couple of guys from TREW. They were in from Hood River, Oregon to show and promote their products. I heard the pitch. I was skeptical. But they’re really good guys – and they’re clearly dedicated to making superior products and selling them at great prices. They sell exclusively from their web site. No 50% – 100% retail markup.

They sent me the things I’ve described above. I tried them. I didn’t buy them. But now I would. I’m really happy for these guys. They’re making great stuff and selling it for better than fair prices. I thought you’d want to know. Because the more comfortable you are in uncomfortable weather, the more likely you are to get out there and get some exercise.

Superior and Cheaper
Not cheap. But significantly less than the stuff that I used to think of as comparable. The lightweight top and bottom: $119 and $99. The midweight: $139. Check out their web site. There are many, many more styles, colors and categories. Everything imaginable for snow sports and more.

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